Know What You're Getting Into...And Enjoy
Most of our comparisons rely heavily on the performance-per-dollar measurement to determine a winner, but the Eon11-S very deliberately prioritizes portability ahead of performance. With an 11.6" display that offers a maximum 1366x768 resolution, it fills a completely different market niche than any of the other gaming-oriented notebooks we’ve recently tested. That is to say, top placement on the value chart will only help Origin sell a few more of its compact gaming notebooks if the company can convince gamers of 1366x768 adequacy.
Many enthusiasts balk at the idea of playing their favorite titles at 1366x768, and more productivity-focused power users doing video and photo work will feel particularly crowded on a small screen. But increased pixel density is costly in terms of both money and power consumption, and not necessarily useful to anyone who sits more than a few inches away from this screen. It doesn't appear pixelated to normal users, instead it simply appears tiny.
If you can tolerate an 11.6" display with a fairly low resolution, though, you'll be rewarded with playable frame rates at moderately-high detail settings in some of today's most graphically-challenging games. Nvidia's GeForce GT 650M excels matched up to Intel's on-die graphics engine in these situations. Running on energy-efficient hardware, we see the strongest case yet for Lucidlogix's HyperFormance technology.
In fact, HyperFormance boosted our most demanding games so effectively that we're thrilled to have nothing but good news to report in this review. Mobile gamers get superb portability and adequate performance, making an even swap for screen size in the exchange. Although Origin PC wouldn't have impressed us nearly as much with these components in a larger chassis, the Eon11-S is an exceptional performer amongst the other systems we've seen sharing this form factor.
And so, while we know the Eon11-S won't satisfy every mobile gamer's requisites, we can easily recommend Origin PC's solution to anyone specifically shopping for a compact notebook with gaming chops. I actually don't mind hauling around heavier notebooks. So, as an enthusiast who actually needs more screen space to work, I look forward to testing one of Origin PC's larger, less portable solutions.